Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Shall Repay

November 15, 2011

Tuesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

(Eleazar said) Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws." (2 Maccabeus 6:27-28)

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:8-10)


When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

“You Raise Me Up” Josh Groban


Zacchaeus up a sycamore tree. A silly, but also ingenious, sight.

"How can I see my Lord?"

Well, I’m pretty short, too. In fact, a certain spouse who shall remain unnamed used to sing the “Short People” song to me when we were newlyweds. I know, I know, one shouldn’t hold grudges. But isn’t that who we are? We have obstacles in our life keeping us from seeing God clearly – many of the self-imposed. We are too short. We are secluded at the back instead of in front of the crowd. We remember slights to our dignity or wounds inflicted by friend and foe. We disbelieve or we believe what we want to believe. We cheat each other and we do not extend the hand of hospitality to others. God knows we should be climbing more sycamore trees but we often are looking the other way at distractions, addictions or idols and thus we miss the presence of Jesus right on our own sidewalks.

In prayer, God reaches down and raises us up. God meets us and our obstacles, although not gone, are surmountable. Sometimes obstacles offer us a new path to meet God in a fresh, liberating manner. As a former alcoholic told me: “God wasn’t going to make me stop drinking, but until I asked for God’s help and trusted God’s help, I couldn’t stop myself. Now every day I thank Jesus for being in my life, ask His help and thank Him for 23+ years of sobriety."


Spend some time allowing God to raise you up. Then look around. What action can you take that will exemplify Zacchaeus’ words to Jesus: “…I shall give to the poor” and “… I shall repay four times over.”